How can I have a personal relationship with God?
REALIZE the separation that exists between God and mankind is due to sin (any action or thought that leads us away from God.) Romans 3:23 - "For all have sinned and fall short of God's glorious standard."
REPENT from sin. That simply means to make a 180° turn. It means moving from ignoring God to allowing Him to lead and guide your life.Romans 6:23 - "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord."
RESPOND to the solution God has for this separation - Jesus Christ. God sent his Son, Jesus, to earth to pay for the sin-debt that mankind owed. You respond by telling God that you accept his solution. John 3:16 - "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life."
RELATE to God through reading the Bible, talking and listening to Him in prayer, and worshipping Him together with others who are seeking God just like you. Romans 5:11 - "So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God - all because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us in making us friends of God."
Tenets of Faith & Structure
Tree of Life Church is based on the description of the New Testament Church found in the Bible. As believers in Christ, we are united by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as we seek a personal relationship with God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus is the head of the Church and people are accountable to Him.
The Bible is the inspired Word of God, the product of holy men of old who spoke and wrote as the Holy Spirit moved them. The New Covenant, as recorded in the New Testament, is what we accept as our infallible guide in matters pertaining to conduct and doctrine (II Peter 1:21, I Thessalonians 2:13, II Timothy 3:16).
Our God is one, but is manifested in three persons — the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, being co-equal (I John 5:7).
Man - His Fall and Redemption
Man is a created being, made in the likeness and the image of God, but through Adam's transgression and fall, sin came into the world (Romans 3:23). "As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one" (Romans 3:10). Jesus Christ, the Son of God was manifested to destroy the work of the devil and to give His life and shed His blood to redeem and restore man back to God (I John 3:8). Salvation is the gift of God to man, separate from works and the law, which is made operative by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, and produces works acceptable to God (Ephesians 2:8).
Eternal Life and New Birth
Man's first step toward salvation is godly sorrow that works repentance. The new birth is necessary to all men, and, when received, produces eternal life (John 3:3-5, II Corinthians 7:10, I John 5:12).
Baptism in water by immersion is a direct commandment of our Lord and is for believers only. The ordinance is a symbol of the Christian's identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection (Matthew 28:19, Acts 8:36-39, Romans 6:4, Colossians 2:12).
Baptism in the Holy Spirit
Given at Pentecost, it is the promise of Jesus Christ, sent by the Father, to empower the Church to be a witness to the Gospel throughout the whole earth. One of the signs of baptism in the Holy Spirit is speaking in other tongues, along with various other gifts. (Matthew 3:11; Mark 16:17;Acts 1:5, 2:1-4, 17, 38-39, 8:14-17, 10:38, 44-47, 11:15-17, 19:1-6).
The Bible teaches that without holiness no man can see the Lord. We believe in the doctrine of Sanctification as a definite yet progressive work of grace, commencing at the time of regeneration and continuing until the consummation of salvation (Hebrews 12:14, I Thessalonians 5:23, II Peter 3:18, I Corinthians 1:30, II Corinthians 3:18, Philippians 3:12-14).
Healing is for the physical, emotional and mental ills of the human body. It is wrought by the power of God through the prayer of faith and by the laying on of hands. It is provided for in the atonement of Christ and is the privilege of every member of the Church today (Isaiah 53:4-5, Matthew 8:17, Mark 16:18, James 5:14-16, I Peter 2:24).
Resurrection of the Just and Return of Our Lord
The angels said, "This same Jesus...shall so come in like manner" (Acts 1:11). His coming is imminent. When He comes, "...the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air..." (I Thessalonians 4:16-17). Following the tribulation, He shall return to earth as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Then together with His saints, who shall be kings and priests, He shall reign for a thousand years (Revelation 20:6).
Hell and Eternal Retribution
The one who physically dies in his sins without Christ is hopelessly and eternally lost in the Lake of Fire and, therefore, has no further opportunity of hearing the Gospel or repenting. The Lake of Fire is literal. The terms "eternal" and "everlasting" used in describing the duration of the punishment of the damned in the Lake of Fire carry the same thought and meaning of endless existence as used in denoting the duration of joy and ecstasy of saints in the presence of God (Hebrews 9:27, Revelation 19:20).